Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a burning sensation on your tongue, roof of your mouth or lips. It can happen anywhere in your mouth or throat. BMS often starts seemingly out of nowhere. It may feel like your tongue is being burned by a hot liquid like coffee.

Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome

  • Acid reflux.

  • Allergies to metal dental products or certain foods.

  • Depression.

  • Dry mouth.

  • Hormonal changes.

  • Mouth infections.

  • Nutritional deficiencies.

  • Teeth grinding or jaw clenching.

Symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome

  • Pain in your mouth that feels like tingling, scalding or burning.

  • Numbness in your mouth that comes and goes.

  • Altered taste.

  • Dry mouth.

Diagnosis of Burning Mouth Syndrome

To confirm a diagnosis, your healthcare provider may perform:

  • Allergy tests.

  • Blood tests.

  • Imaging tests.

  • Oral swab tests.

  • Salivary flow test.

  • Tissue biopsy.

Prevention of Burning Mouth Syndrome

There may not be a way to prevent BMS. But you can lessen the symptoms by avoiding anything that irritates your mouth, including:

  • Alcohol.

  • High-acidic foods or drinks (like citrus juices).

  • Hot and spicy foods or drinks.

  • Mouthwash containing alcohol.

  • Tobacco products.

Treatment of Burning Mouth Syndrome

For burning mouth syndrome treatment, some medications can help. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved these drugs specifically for BMS, but your healthcare provider may prescribe them to help the symptoms. These medications include:

  • Some antidepressants.

  • Antiseizure medication.

  • Gabapentin (a medicine used for seizures and herpes pain).

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